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Battered Tigers irked by Southern unity against terrorism

LTTE targeted Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera for a long time:

This country has already experienced situations in which the LTTE has made use of volatile situations of this nature to accomplish their terror plans. Onall these occasions the politicians had hair splitting arguments to prove that their main opponents were behind such assassinations but ultimately it was the LTTE which had always been behind those assassinations

It has been a proven fact that the LTTE never tolerated any unity in the Southern polity. Their attempts always aimed at disturbing the South once they observed signs that the South is uniting against LTTE terrorism. The LTTE observed that Southern polity is reaching towards consensus at this decisive juncture as the military defeat of the LTTE is nearing.

Though many politicians cry foul about military successes to appease their disgruntled political leaders, they are supportive of the military successes against the LTTE.

The politicians who are supportive of defeating the LTTE militarily, at this juncture, cannot wait silently without coming out with their feelings towards the war heroes sacrificing their lives and limbs for the sake of their Motherland, finally to see an end to decades long terrorism in the country.

They were to come out of their narrow cells and extend their support openly within the past few weeks as they realised that the military successes in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu front were not mere successes highlighted only through Government media but realistic victories achieved by the Security Forces under the correct political leadership given to them by this Government.

Troops make headway on Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu fronts Pic. by Rukmal Gamage

Politicians like Sajith Premadasa, who was one of the victims of the LTTE terrorism when his father, former President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by a suicide cadre, openly expressed the view that the main Opposition should extend their support for the Security Forces’ effort to defeat LTTE.

Defeat LTTE

In the same way many politicians, who were critical of Government efforts to defeat LTTE militarily in many ways extended their unconditional support to the Security Forces.

It was a time the politicians were ready to shed their differences at least for the sake of the country with the genuine support of the common masses, and were humble enough at least to visit the war heroes undergoing treatment at hospitals.

This was not a good sign for the LTTE which is now desperately hanging on to the support of the Tamil Nadu politicians who are engaged in various campaigns to exert pressure on the central government of India to stop the military thrust on the LTTE by the Sri Lankan Government.

It was in such a background that the unfortunate incident took place in the sacred city of Anuradhapura on October 6 at 8.45 a.m. in which one of the brave officers who served in the Army fighting fearlessly against the LTTE, fell victim to one of the Tiger suicide cadres along with several other UNP politicians.

Major General (Rtd) Janaka Perera who was the Opposition leader of the North Central Provincial Council and his wife Wajira Perera who was also an ex-officer of the first battalion of the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps, Raja Johnpulle, the UNP Manger in the Anuradhapura district and his wife Jenita Johnpulle, NCP Councillor Sunil Dissanayake, A.C.S Hameed and his wife were among the 27 people who fell victim to the suicide bomber who rushed into the opening ceremony of the Anuradhapura district UNP office at a time the participants were ready for refreshments on the invitation of Major General Janaka Perera.

Janaka Perera was a long awaited target of the LTTE from his precious days in the Army as a young officer and as a General as he gave a hard time for the LTTE. A tip off given to him by a civilian made him one of the biggest war heroes in Lankan military history with the ambush laid by the Army surrounding the 223 Brigade in Weli Oya.

More than 500 Tiger cadres were killed in this confrontation with troops recovering more than 400 bodies of the Tiger cadres who came to overrun the Weli Oya Brigade in June 1995.

That was most probably the single largest recovery of Tiger bodies by the Security Forces in the three decades long conflict in the country.

Tiger attempt

Apart from this Major General Janaka Perera was also instrumental in stopping the Tiger attempt to overrun Jaffna in 2000.

But the LTTE waited for their mission till the most unexpected time to take his life. For the LTTE assassinating Janaka Perera was a multi directional bomb.

On one hand it had taken one of their long-awaited targets and on the other, they are giving a warning for the politicians who are trying to extend their support to Government efforts to defeat the LTTE militarily as many active UNP supporters in Anuradhapura were killed in this suicide blast.

Above all the LTTE has been able to create a big political issue over the assassination of the Janaka Perera as the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has already pointed his finger at the Government. The politicians who were trying to take advantages out of this assassination are taking the coffin of this one time Army officer amidst objections from the his own sons and daughters.

Therefore, the LTTE has created a scenario for the politicians to fight each other at a time they are expected to unite for the sake of the country realizing the obvious fact that there is no other element other than the LTTE to commit such a brutal act of this nature by deploying a suicide cadre.

This time they could not find the head of the suicide cadre as the entire body of this suicide cadre except for his legs below the knee has been shattered into pieces as a large quantity of explosives have been used for the suicide jacket.

The only clue about the suicide bomber can be found through the video footage shot by the Sirasa and MTV correspondent in Anuradhapura Rashmi Mohammed’s video camera. Rashmi Mohammed who sustained injuries in this blast succumbed to his injuries after being admitted to Anuradhapura hospital along with his father and mother lawyers Mr. and Mrs. Hameed.

Police teams are investigating to ascertain details about the suicide cadre. Their investigations should be aimed at tracing the people who had assisted the suicide cadre in accomplishing his target as that will help prevent incidents of this nature at a crucial point in the country.

This country has already experienced situations in which the LTTE has made use of volatile situations of this nature to accomplish their terror plans. On all these occasions the politicians had hair splitting arguments to prove that their main opponents were behind such assassinations but ultimately it was the LTTE which had always been behind those assassinations.

Therefore, all politicians who are trying to point a finger at the Government for the incident must realise the fact that they have already fallen victim to the LTTE’s trap at this decisive moment when the country is at the doorstep of victory against the LTTE.

The LTTE has given a signal that they will not spare any politician whether they are from the Government or from the Opposition.

In yesterday’s incident in Boralesgamuwa, a female LTTE suicide cadre attempted to take the life of Minister Maitiripala Sirisena after jumping into the path of his motorcade while returning from the Vap Magul ceremony in Bandaragama.

Therefore, all politicians should shed their political differences to unite against the LTTE at this decisive moment in which the Security Forces are poised to defeat the LTTE in their strongholds.

The country witnessed these unfortunate incidents as fierce fighting erupted on all three major battlefronts in the Wanni liberation operation within the past few days as continued resistance came from the LTTE toward the troops now awaiting to the final push against the LTTE now dominating Kilinochchi.

As mentioned in this column earlier the Kilinochchi town which was considered the so-called Tiger capital has already been abandoned by the civilians as they have moved out of the town with the troops reaching towards the outskirts of Kilinochchi town.

The Tiger leadership continued to pour their cadres into these three major battles in Kilinochchi in the East and west of Akkarayankulam, on the Nachchikuda front and on the Mullaitivu front taking maximum use of their reserve battalions as they are aware that no other battles will be left for them to defend their so-called Tamil Eelam after their defeat in Kilinochchi.

Final battle

Now the ground has already been prepared for the final battle in Kilinochchi with the LTTE mounting counter attacks to push back the troops from their defences. Troops attached to the 572 Brigade which was under the command of Colonel Senerath Bandara is now operating just one and half Kilometres from the south west of Kilinochchi.

The 572 Brigade has now been taken over by Lt. Colonel Dhammika Jayasundera as Colonel Senerath Bandara is due to visit India for a Senior Command course.

The 8 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Battalion under the Command of Lt. Colonel Epsitha Dissanayaka was able to capture a 300 metre stretch of the huge earth bund that has been constructed by the LTTE from east to west from Iranamadu to north west of Akkarayanakulam side.

Troops detected this earth bund last week as they were advancing along Akkarayan Murikkandi road. This earth bund is separated from the earth bund that has been constructed from Nachchikuda to Akkarayankulam. This new earth bund has been constructed north of Akkarayankulam from east to west direction to cover the Kilinochchi front.

In Monday’s fighting 17 LTTE cadres were confirmed killed and nine others reportedly injured. There were three waves of Tiger cadres to push back the troops from the earth bund but they failed in all their attempts as troops are strongly holding this stretch of the earth bund.

The LTTE continued to launch gas attacks targeting the troops. Amidst such resistance troops are poised to further expand their areas along this newly captured earth bund which stretches for nearly 10 to 11 Kilometres.

Troops from the 4 Sinha Regiment under the command of Lt. Colonel Subashana Welikala and the 3 Gajaba Regiment under the command of Sanjeewa Fernando are ready to link up with the 8 SLII troops to further expand the control over this earth bund amidst heavy resistance from the LTTE.

Command

Meanwhile, the 571 Brigade under the command of Colonel G.V. Ravipriya also operating in the West of Akkarayankulam, is posing a major threat to the LTTE.

The newly formed 574 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya and 573 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Prathap Thillekeratne are holding the ground parallel to the Jaffna - Kandy A-9 road from Mankulam to Murikandy in the south of Iranamadu.

The LTTE has not been given any room to operate on this stretch of A-9 road though troops have not taken control of the road. The 7 Sri Lanka Light Infantry battalion operating in Kokavil area destroyed a canter truck carrying 17 Tiger cadres when it was about to turn into the A-9 road.

The LTTE has also booby trapped and laid heavy mine fields preventing troops from reaching the A-9 road as they are aware that there will be deadly effects on them if they leave the A-9 road for free movements of the troops.

With troops attached the 57 Division heading towards Kilinochchi troops attached to the 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva have made progress in the north-east of Nachchikuda. Troops are advancing further North of Karambakulam earth bund facing stiff resistance from the LTTE.

The 58 Division has further expanded their control over this ditch cum earth bund in Kambivelliyavillu, Pandiveddiaru and Maniyankulam areas.

From the earth bund troops have advanced four Kilometres Northwards and are operating just 10 Kilometres off Pooneryn in their bid to open another gateway to Jaffna.

During the week that ended on Wednesday the troops attached to the 58 Division has got confirmation that 74 Tiger cadres have been killed on this front.

The LTTE is pumping cadres to this front as they are aware that losing this vital ground will deprive them of logistics support from the South Indian coast.

Intelligence reports indicate that the LTTE is still receiving vital arms and ammunition stocks from the remaining stretch of coastal area in the North Western coast despite strengthening Naval operations in this vital section of the coast close to Valaipadu area.

Fierce fighting erupted in the Mullaitivu front as troops continuously engaged with the LTTE along the 12 Kilometres stretch of front in this sector. Fierce fighting erupted in the Mullaitivu front on Wednesday too from 2 pm with troops engaging Tiger defences.

******************************

Army victoriously marches into 60th year

Army Commander Lt. Commander Sarath Fonseka initiated the 59th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Army at the annual flag blessing ceremony at the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi last Saturday. This might be one of most victorious anniversaries the Sri Lanka Army has ever celebrated in its 59 years of existence after transforming itself from a ceremonial Army into fully fledged Army.

The Sri Lanka Army has vividly shown to the entire world about its capability to tame what the world considered the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world at a time world super powers are making efforts to eradicate terrorism from the globe with their sophisticated and state-of-the art weaponry. The strength of the Army has risen to 160,000 compared to 15,000 at the inception of the Tiger movement in the early 1980s.

The Government has given its nod to increase the strength to 200,000. That is to ensure that country will not undergo an experience of this nature again.

In this context the Army has become a tower of strength for mother Lanka which has been suffering due to the ruthless terror acts of the LTTE as it is engaged in a fearless fight against the outfit to free mother Lanka and its community from terrorism.

Today, the Army is in a much stronger position having marched towards the outskirts of Kilinochchi, after passing very many milestones from the Mavil Aru battle in July 2006.

The LTTE must be repenting for its narrow minded action in Mavil Aru which compelled the Security Forces to engage in humanitarian operations to liberate masses in the East and in the Wanni from the clutches of the LTTE.

They went against massive tides first to convince the common masses that they no longer an Army with a defeatist mentality.

They were always on the victorious path from the Mavil Aru battle and proved their capabilities to defeat guerrilla movement in jungle terrains in Thoppigala and now in Wanni.

The LTTE’s targeting of the Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka inside the Army Headquarters, gave determination and courage for the troops of the Sri Lanka Army to defeat the LTTE.

They have taken up that challenge vigorously and effectively and they are challenging Velupillai Prabhakaran at their doorstep in Kilinochchi. Keep up that strength forever until you eliminate terrorism from the country.

That is the wish of the Sri Lankan community and their blessings are with the Sri Lanka Army and will never forget the heroes of this soil who sacrificed their lives and limbs to make the country’s future a bright one at the time the Army is celebrating the 59th anniversary.

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